LAHORE Following the modus operandi of criminal officers of Qila Gujjar Singh Police Line where over 1,000 fake officers were traced in December 2010, now it is learnt about 700 ghost police officers have been drawing salaries from the AG Office since long in Punjab Constabulary, Ferozewala, well informed sources said. They said the attendance of such officers is being marked on daily basis by the Reserved Inspectors and Personal Staff Officers concerned but their physical presence has never been observed for the last several months. The Punjab Constabulary is a central Police Line of the province having various Police Lines with seven battalions established in various districts of the Punjab including Bahawalpur, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Murree and others, they added. Insiders revealed, These ghost police officers have been running their private businesses in their respective cities but are drawing salaries on perpetual basis from the Punjab Treasury. According to them, the figure may cross the abovementioned statistics if an honest and senior police officer probes into the matter. Informed sources said all the Reserved Inspectors of each Police Line and all the PSOs of SPs and DIGs concerned should be thoroughly interrogated by an honest and senior police officer. According to official figure, total 10,997 police officers have currently been discharging their duties in the Punjab Constabulary. An Additional Inspector General of Police Punjab Habib-ur-Rehman is heading the Punjab Constabulary comprising two Deputy Inspector Generals, six SPs, 27 DSPs, 89 inspectors, 240 sub-inspectors, 480 assistant sub-inspectors, 1,037 head constables and 9,115 constables. An official document revealed that a Head Constable Muhammad Asghar, (Belt No-HC/13588, Computer No-30092415), son of Rehmat Ali, was traced as a ghost police officer when he was transferred from Battalion No-5, Abbas Lines, Punjab Constabulary, from Lahore to State Guesthouse, Lahore. According to transfer order (receipt no-374/10), the man has been discharging his duties in Punjab Constabulary but when a muharrar Masood Shah of the police guesthouse contacted the authorities concerned none of such police officers was found performing his official duties in Abbas Line. However when this scribe contacted Asghar, son of Rehmat Ali, he confirmed that he was a lawyer in Ferozewala Katchery since long. To a query, he said he remained in police department for few months but when asked quoting official appointment as he was appointed in police department on February 2, 2005 and had drawn his salary till June 11, 2009, Asghar badly failed to furnish any suitable reply. Partially admitting the harsh reality, Additional IG Punjab Habib-ur-Rehman said there was possibility of 10 to 15 such ghost officers but he strongly ruled out such chances in the Punjab Constabulary. Quoting the example of Qilla Gujjar Singh Police Line, he said there was only one Police Line of Lahore Police having concentrated strength while the Punjab Constabulary has different Police Lines in various districts. My strength is quite scattered. Only 200 police officers stay in each Line otherwise all of them remained on duty, he added. When asked if 10 to 20 men from the stayed police officers in each Line are went missing then the figure may cross up to 700, Habib said as, It was impossible. On the other side, after receiving several complaints of corruption in the Qila Gujjar Singh Police Line, CCPO Lahore Aslam Tareen had ordered all the police officers of the district police to receive their salaries of December 2010, by hand from Qila Gujjar Singh Police Line. During the month of January, over 1,000 ghost police officers were detected who had been drawing salaries for the last several years but in police records their faces were unfamiliar with the department, a senior police officer commented seeking anonymity. Interestingly, both the inspectors including RI Nazeer Bajwa and PSO to DIG (Operations) Lahore Inspector Nabi Ahmed Virk who were allegedly involved in facilitating the ghost officers were transferred from Lahore district to Punjab Constabulary, Ferozewala, by IGP Javed Iqbal.